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Kidney and Leinster
7 July 2004, 10:15 am
The one thing Declan Kidney was famous for throughout his reign as Munster coach was his ability to come up with the unexpected.
The one thing Declan Kidney was famous for throughout his reign as Munster coach was his ability to come up with the unexpected.

Stories abound of how he would come up with the unlikiest ideas in order to give his side the edge and invariably his attention to the minutest detail paid dividends.

And so perhaps it should have come as no surprise when he announced this week his choice as assistant coach. No doubt people, particularly down south would have asked Bobby, when it was revealed that Kidney had opted for the current Ireland Schools coach Bobby Byrne to serve as his assistant. If most people know little about Byrne it won t faze either him or Kidney.

Both share a passion for the game and an equal passion for avoiding the limelight. And if there are raised eyebrows about the appointment of a relative unknown to such a high profile position Kidney would probably be quick to point out that that was the exact position that pertained to himself when he took over the Munster reins.

Everyone knows the fist he made of the side, he took Munster from obscurity to the forefront of European rugby and you can be sure that he will not have any reason to regret his choice of assistant for one second.

Up to the time of his appointment, the talk in Leinster was of disquiet and splits and general bad feeling among the players principally. Once it was announced Kidney was taking over that talk disappeared, the Cork man accepted by one and all. And the players can now set about delivering on their promise.

If they are a side who have often been accused of not believing in themselves, then that will change. And for people who might wonder at what contribution Kidney made when he was in the national set-up it might be considered that in the time that he was there, Ireland enjoyed unprecedented success.

Their record read very well included a Triple Crown and worldwide respect. But it might be worth noting that Ireland s end of season collapse co-incided with what ?.

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